Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Specialist job post at Save the Children International

  • Full Time
  • Kampala

Save the Children

TITLE:  Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Specialist
TEAM/PROGRAMME: Programme Development and Quality (PDQ)

LOCATION:  CO – Kampala

CONTRACT LENGTH:  permanent (dependent on performance and funding)

CHILD SAFEGUARDING: (select only one)

Level 3:  The post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight); working with or visiting country programs and projects, or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.


The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Specialist will report to and work under the guidance of the Senior Education Advisor to provide technical leadership for the formulation, design, planning, implementation , monitoring and evaluation of Save the Children Uganda’s ECCE and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) portfolio currently valued at $1,000,000. The role holder will ensure the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the programme management, delivery and accomplishment of ECCE strategic outcomes and individual programme and project goals and objectives in line with SCI Uganda country office Education program portfolio.


Using SCI ECCE/D common approaches contextualised to Uganda and other play-based, child-centred and child well-being methodologies, the specialist will provide tehnical oversight in the implementation of SCI innovative ECCE/D projects, supported by private, and bilateral and multi-lateral institutional donors, including Lego, and the Sesame Workshop.. The role-holder will lead ECCE/D programme design and implementation, staff capacity strengthening, timely monitoring and reporting, designing and carrying out evaluation and learning activities. The Specialist will lead national-level ECCD/E coordination with key stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and in collaboration with the Child Protection and Health teams, work with the Ministry of Gender, Labor Social Development (MoGLSD), the UN, INGOs and National NGOs, and communities to deliver change for children in both emergency and development contexts. The role holder will also be accountable for supporting an improved enabling national ECCE/Dpolicy environment, promoting increased funding and access to quality ECCE,  identifying and addressing access/quality inequities in ECCE/D, and support identifying and developing innovative approaches and programmes for improved scale and impact.


Reports to: Senior Education Advisor

Staff reporting to this post: None
Indirect : 3 Project Managers/Coordinators  (in charge of implementing ECCE/D projects across the CO make up the national team along with project officers that this position leads)

Budget Responsibilities: $100,000 related to national technical and advocacy activities

Role Dimensions: The role is expected to foster relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including Save the Children Country Office PDQ team, MEAL, Communications and Advocacy colleagues, and technical counterparts within SCI globally and ECCE/D other organisations. The role will engage with National ECCE/D technical working groups and communities of practice.

Context : Development and Humanitarian


Thematic and Techical Leadership and Representation

  • Provide overall leadership for the strategic development and quality implementation of ECCE/D programme, including development of strategic plans and the portfolio of projects, research and initiatives required to achieve of strategic objectives and outcomes
  • Lead the strategic planning process for ECCE/D sub sector and then annual operational planning based on the strategic plan, and regular internal program planning and review meetings, as well as related inputs to quarterly and annual reports
  • Lead and oversee implementation of SCI ECCE national level technical projects or activities
  • Communicate program achievements against agreed strategic objectives and milestones, and any emerging new evidence for a wide range of internal and external audiences
  • Actively communicate and coordinate with the other relevant technical specialists and project managers to ensure synergy and integrated approaches across themes that are evidence-based and good practice
  • Develop and maintain strong external relations with key stakeholders in particular donors, Ministry of Education, the UN and national education coordination networks and platforms
  • Regularly coordinate with Save the Children global technical colleagues to ensure regular project and programmatic results, priorities and needs, to request technical support as needed, to coordinate programmatic visits and contribute to member-level advocacy and fundraising
  • Ensure capacity building for project staff, government officials, and partners on relevant approaches, SC Common approaches, and other identified and prioritized ECCE/D technical capacity needs


Program Development

  • Contribute to the development and regular updating of an SCI Uganda ECCE/D fundraising opportunities, working proactively with the Business Development (BD) team, SC members and donors in identifying funding opportunities
  • Identify innovative, evidence-based, needs-based, relevant and technically sound project ideas, approaches and methodologies that contribute to achieving its strategic goals in collaboration with BD team and SC members.
  • Support pre-positioning for identified opportunities including understanding MoES and donor priorities and identifying international and national partners
  • Ensure that high quality technical inputs are provided while designing new education and ECCD/E project proposals through the full application of SCI’s Common Approaches, programming principles, and theory of change
  • Ensure that technical proposals are relevant and needs-based through quality and technically sound needs assesments and child and other project participant consultations and ensuring stakeholder-mappings
  • In collaboration with MEAL, ensure current technical knowledge, research, evidence, lessons learned and good practice inform new program design


Program Quality and Effectiveness

  • Identify needs and opportunities to share learning and strengthen programming across the humanitarian and development portfolio and work closely with the Senior Education Advisor, global and regional Technical Advisors, and education Project Managers to support quality assurance and ensure sustained quality impace in all ECCE/D projects
  • Maintain regular contact with project implementation teams to assess technical and quality aspects and needs of program implementation, provide ongoing follow up and support; ensure an annual technical support work-plan and report to line manager on progress of key agreed actions with project teams
  • Support quality assurance and quality improvements through the provision of continuous capacity assessment and improvement measures and through the use of quality benchmarks
  • Ensure all ECCD/E programs use evidence based solutions adapted to their context, including SCI common approaches, programming principles, global strategies and humanitarian minimum standards
  • Conduct project and program visits for quality assurance, technical capacity reviews and to provide training
  • Understand cross-cutting issues of gender, child participation, child protection, and community owernship and ensure their incorporation into program design and their implementation and application in all projects
  • Support Program Operations and Awards in submitting quality donor reports by providing timely and thorough technical review, including recommendations on how these reports could be improved


ECCE/D Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Evidence and Learning

  • In close collaboration with the Head of MEAL (HoM) and the Knowledge Management and Learning Specialist (KM&LS), lead in the identification and documentation of ECCE/D drivers of change, analysis and interpretation of ECCE/D results and outcomes, emerging needs and contextual changes
  • With the KM&LS and Communication team, ensure the dissemination of learning and ensure the planning and facilitation of ECCE/D learning events for staff, partners and other relevant stakeholders, including national, regiona and global Communities of Practice (CoPs) and relevant Technical Working Groups (TWGs)
  • Work closely with KM&LS and Project Managers to develop and carry out a robust ECCE/D learning agenda to support program implementation, program development, program pivots and adaptations as necessary and advocacy and communications
  • Work closely with the MEAL team to ensure development, use, and revision of quality benchmarks to inform project monitoring, learning and pivots/adaptations
  • Work closely with the HoM to ensure strong accountability and feedback mechanisms are included in all ECCE/D projects and support closing feedback loops with MEAL and project implementation teams
  • Ensure participant (parents, pre-primary teachers, centre managers, etc.) and child feedback and consultations inform programming design and development and project monitoring and evaluation
BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)


  • holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


  • sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
  • widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


  • builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


  • develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • willing to take disciplined risks.


  • honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity

  • Bachelor degree (Education/ECCE/D) from a recorgnised institution. A relevant postgraduate qualification will be an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience (three years or more) in the design, implementation and monitoring of  education/ECCE/D programmes in humanitarian/development context.
  • Demonstrated experience (three years or more) in teaching and teacher professional development in domestic and/or international contexts.
  • Familiality with the Uganda Ealry Childhood Learning Standards and ECCDvFramework


  • Minimum five years’ programme management experience working in development/emergency response contexts, with specific experience in Early Child Care and Development (ECCE/D) programming
  • Experience of project management; experience in integrated and child rights programming is welcomed
  • Thorough understanding of project management cycles
  • Demonstrated success in representation and coordination with key stakeholders, including communities, government, the UN and other NGOs
  • Demonstrated experience in MEAL, particularly MEAL in ECCE/D programming, including the development and monitoring of child well-being and learning indicators
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken, with good interpersonal skills and ability to communicate at all levels
  • Strong influencing skills, experience and passion in influencing and advocating for children skills and experience
  • Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
  • The capacity and willingness to be extremely flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances
  • Commitment to the aims and principles of Save the Children
  • Proven experience and competencies in adopting evidence-based, innovative and contextualized approaches that are scalable and can maximize the effectiveness, quality and impact of education and ECCD/E programs
  • Strong analytical and writing skills
  • Experience working with strategic, implementing and community-based partners
Additional job responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.

Child Safeguarding:

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

Safeguarding our Staff:

The post holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI anti-harassment policy

Humanitarian response

In the event of a major humanitarian emergency, the role holder will be expected to work outside the normal role profile and be able to vary working hours accordingly

Health and Safety

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.


To apply for this job please visit hcri.fa.em2.oraclecloud.com.


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